Department of Computer Science

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Montana Tech Robotic Mining Club Places in Top 10

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A team of engineering and computer science students from Montana Tech competed in the 2015 NASA Robotic Mining Competition May 18-22 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. For the first time ever, the team placed in the top 10 during the On-site Mining Competition. “We're ecstatic with how well we did,” noted Erin Wiles, a graduate student in the Montana Tech Electrical Engineering Department and president of Montana Tech’s Robotic Mining Club. “We were able to dig an average of 11kg of the regolith and deposit it in the collector bin. We know we can do even better next year.”

The team, named Team Orediggers, consists of Josh Lee (Software Engineering Senior), Mack Sutherland (Software Engineering Senior), Jacob McLean, Andrew Lamping, Erin Wiles, Anthony Ottolini-Messuri, Krista Stone, Ross Mitchell (CS Senior not pictured), Joshua Bekel, and Jordan Watson. Bryce Hill, assistant professor in the Electrical Engineering Department served as faculty advisor and Nick Pollman, Montana Tech alumnus assisted the team during the competition.  

The competition is for university-level students to design and build a mining robot that can traverse the simulated Martian terrain features, excavate basaltic regolith and deposit the regolith into a Collector Bin within 10 minutes. The complexities of the challenge include the abrasive characteristics of the basaltic regolith simulant, the weight and size of the limitations of the mining robot, and the ability to control it from a remote center. The scoring for the mining category requires teams to consider a number of design and operation factors such as dust tolerance and projection, communications, vehicle mass, energy/power required, and autonomy.  

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2015 CS/SE Graduates

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Seven computer science and software engineering students graduated on May 16th. They will be working for a variety of companies in the western US. 

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CodeMontana to be housed at Tech

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codemtPressCodeMontana, a program for introducing high school students across Montana to computer coding, will now be administered by Montana Tech through the Computer Science Department. The program was created by Greg Gianforte and Rob Irizarry to introduce junior high and high school students to computer programming at earlier ages. CodeMontana’s relocation is being made possible by a gift of $220,000 from the Gianforte Family Foundation. 

CodeMontana will continue as the same program, but its new home will offer further mentorship for CodeMontana students from current Computer Science students at Tech. The added mentorship will encourage students to complete CodeMontana and motivate them to choose a career in Computer Science or Software Engineering. Montana Tech will continue to offer the $4000 CodeMontana Scholarship to students who complete the first 4 modules and have a Math ACT score of 24 or higher.

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Recent Alumni at Microsoft

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microsoft15Recent graduates working at Microsoft got together for a photo to share with the department. Pictured are Jordan Yates, Haythem Memmi, and Matt Morris. Haythem Memmi just started at Microsoft after graduating in December 2014. He is a Software Development Engineer working for the Dynamic Crawling Team at Bing. Matt Morris (May 2014) started at Microsoft six months ago and works as a Software Engineer for the Storage Management API team in the Operating Systems Group. Jordan Yates is also a Software Engineer in the Operating Systems Group and works on the Developer Ecosystem Platform team.

 


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